Japan's integrated resort bill is finalised

By Harrison Sayers

The Japanese Government has finalised a bill that will allow for the construction of integrated resorts in the country.

Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe’s ruling Liberal Democrat Party (LDP) and their junior coalition partner, Komeito Party (KP), have completed their integrated resort bill and now the Japanese Parliament (DIET) is set to debate it before it can be enacted.

The government’s bill includes a limit of three integrated resorts in pre-approved locations, limits on Japanese resident’s visits to three per week and ten a month, a 24 hour casino entry fee of $55.73 for locals, and a fine of $4.7m for operators who obtain casino licenses fraudulently.

Casinos will also be limited to 3% of the integrated resorts total land space or 15,000 square meters. Gross gaming revenue in those casinos will be taxed at a rate of 30%.

These strict regulations are a result of negative public opinion in Japan surrounding gambling and fears that integrated resorts would exacerbate issues for the countries estimated 3.2 million problem gamblers.

The LDP have been careful in constructing a bill that focuses on deterring locals from becoming problem gamblers. Instead the proposed integrated resorts will predominately rely on tourists for their revenue.

Despite these regulations competition from operators to develop the integrated resorts is already fierce. Sheldon Adelson the CEO of Las Vegas Sands and Melco Resorts CEO, Lawrence Ho, have both stated their interest in developing resorts in Japan if the bill is passed by DIET.

The LDP will be aiming to get there bill approved by DIET before the end of the current Parliamentary session which ends on June 20.


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